Recent blog posts

Donald C. Fry: Meet Maryland’s new business ombudsman

By Donald C. Fry Business people have long joked that, if you want to scare them, simply utter the following: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” Meet Roger Campos, Maryland’s newly-appointed business ombudsman. He’s from the government – he reports directly to Governor Larry Hogan – but he really is here to help, he told business owners and managers at the Greater Baltimore Committee earlier this week. “There’s a fear factor among business owners in dealing with state and federal government agencies,” Campos said. For example, surveys show that in Maryland there is a high level of frustration among small business owners, particularly about rules, regulations and “misinterpretations” of rules and regulations, he added. Campos, who has been on the job for only two months, is here to take that fear out of business relationships with government. “Part of my role is to find bottlenecks, issues and... Continue reading
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Laslo Boyd: Larry Hogan's Way

By Laslo BoydThe new governor managed to get elected in 2014 while revealing very little about himself.  The key to his success was reminding voters that he was not Anthony Brown.  Other than repeating constantly that Martin O’Malley had raised taxes over forty times during his eight years, Hogan’s campaign was stunningly devoid of content. January 2015 started with Hogan signaling that he would not be Bob Ehrlich.  There was much talk about a new era of cooperation and bipartisanship in Annapolis.  Many commentators and even some Democrats became absolutely giddy at the prospect of a governor who seemed friendly, someone you might have a beer with, a non-politician with a common touch. Hogan’s State of the State message put a damper on the era of good feelings, filled as it was with partisan rhetoric and a tone of confrontation.  Yet, as proof that Democrats wanted to make the relationship with... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Cummings’ Poll Shows Him Topping Edwards, Van Hollen

By Josh KurtzRep. Elijah Cummings (D) leads a hypothetical three-way Democratic Senate primary over fellow Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Donna Edwards (D), according to a survey conducted last month by Cummings’ pollster. The poll of 700 likely Democratic primary voters, taken March 19-22 by the Mellman Group, Inc., showed Cummings with 29 percent in the initial matchup, Edwards with 23 percent, and Van Hollen with 22 percent. The poll had a 3.7-point margin of error. The poll is quietly being circulated this week by Cummings’ allies while the congressman continues to ponder whether to enter the race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D). Cummings has publicly touted the poll results in recent days without mentioning the particulars. Both Edwards and Van Hollen are running aggressively; Edwards yesterday rolled out endorsements from seven of the nine members of the Prince George’s County Council, while Van Hollen’s camp boasted that... Continue reading
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Josh Kurtz: Cummings’ Poll Shows Him Topping Edwards, Van Hollen

By Josh KurtzRep. Elijah Cummings (D) leads a hypothetical three-way Democratic Senate primary over fellow Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D) and Donna Edwards (D), according to a survey conducted last month by Cummings’ pollster. The poll of 700 likely Democratic primary voters, taken March 19-22 by the Mellman Group, Inc., showed Cummings with 29 percent in the initial matchup, Edwards with 23 percent, and Van Hollen with 22 percent. The poll had a 3.7-point margin of error. The poll is quietly being circulated this week by Cummings’ allies while the congressman continues to ponder whether to enter the race to succeed retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D). Cummings has publicly touted the poll results in recent days without mentioning the particulars. Both Edwards and Van Hollen are running aggressively; Edwards yesterday rolled out endorsements from seven of the nine members of the Prince George’s County Council, while Van Hollen’s camp boasted that... Continue reading
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Mileah Kromer: Public Opinion and Death with Dignity

By Mileah Kromer In late February, the Goucher Poll asked Marylanders to weigh in on a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to obtain a prescription for a fatal dose of drugs from a willing doctor. Respondents were informed that the bill requires the patient to be mentally competent, self-administer the drugs, and have less than six months to live. Sixty percent of residents supported the policy, and 35 percent opposed it. About six weeks later, the bill introduced by Delegate Shane Pendergrass and Senator Ron Young was tabled in committee. Maryland was not alone in introducing and hotly debating “death with dignity” bills during its legislation session. Fifteen other states are considering—or did consider—“death with dignity” bills during their most recent legislative sessions. Some of these bills were introduced in previous sessions and were appearing before their legislatures for a second time. These different state bills typically contain the... Continue reading
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